I guess spring brings out dreams of travel and adventure because I’m hearing from a lot of people who are RV shopping for the first time, and also from a lot of folks who have RVs and are thinking about replacing them.
When people talk about changing RVs it almost always because they want something newer and bigger. My first comment to them is to ask why are they shopping for a different RV? If their current rig is in bad shape mechanically or old and worn out, that might be the right decision to make. But many times it is because the RV’s interior is worn and dated or maybe the appliances don’t work well, but structurally and mechanically it still has a lot of life left in it. Then you have to decide if it really is time to change RVs or if what you have can be refurbished. I wrote a blog post about this titled Why Buy New When You Can Upgrade a while back that addresses this issue. It might be advantageous to spend a few thousand dollars to bring what you have up to date rather than to spend a small fortune on a new RV. Not having monthly payments is a very good thing.
A couple of years ago when my first novel, Big Lake, made the New York Times bestseller list a lot of people were speculating if we would be buying a new Prevost or some other high end coach. But why would we do that? We love our 2002 Winnebago Ultimate Advantage. It only has 80,000 miles on it, which is nothing for a diesel, and the floor plan suits us perfectly. We’d like to tear out the carpeting and put in wood flooring, replace the Norcold refrigerator with a residential model, and put in a range with oven to replace the cooktop. If money were no object we’d probably get it painted too. But that’s all. And all of that would cost a whole lot less than a new motorhome!
But even if I’m not actually in the market for a new RV, sometimes I like to listen to the people selling them. I think I’m a pretty fair storyteller, but when it comes to fiction, these guys make me look like a kid telling fibs at preschool.
A couple of weeks ago I was looking at a huge four-slide mansion on wheels that had every bell and whistle that you can think about and a few you probably never thought of. It even had two bathrooms! How cool is that?
In my seminar on How To Be A Smart RV Shopper, I tell the audience that if they are shopping for an RV and find a model they like, to forget about how pretty it is and try out what it would feel like to actually live in it. Kick off your shoes and step into the shower and simulate bathing. Is there room to do it comfortably? Sit down on the toilet. Do you have room? In some rigs, you can do your business, but you almost have to step outside to do the paperwork!
Practicing what I preached, I parked myself on the toilet in the master bathroom of this rolling mansion and promptly noticed a problem. The vanity cabinet was on one side and the wall was on the other, making a rather tight fit. And that was made worse by the fact that the metal toilet paper roller was mounted in such a way that it was jabbing into my leg. I told the salesman that in a $630,000 coach, I would have thought that somebody would have put that someplace else.
“Well, most RVers don’t use their bathrooms except in an emergency,” he told me. “That’s what rest areas and campground bathrooms are for.” I looked at him in amazement, not sure I had really heard that, and then I asked him if he really believed that somebody who could afford a rig that cost well over half a million dollars and had two bathrooms was really going to stop and use a nasty toilet in a rest area. “Oh yeah,” he assured me, “they do it all the time.” I didn’t buy the motorhome, but I got a great story to tell out of it.
Today is the last day you can enter this week’s Free Drawing for an audiobook of Big Lake Lynching, the second book in my Big Lake mystery series. All you have to do is click on the Free Drawing link and enter your name in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn this evening.
And here are some more great deals from my author pals – if you like my buddy George Wier’s excellent Bill Travis mysteries set in Texas, check out Longnecks & Twisted Hearts, the third installment in the series. The calendar might say it’s spring, but it’s the holidays in Mona Ingram’s romantic A Family for Christmas. It’s 99¢ today only.
For science fiction fans, Trish Marie Dawson’s The Dry Lands: a Hutch and A’ris novel is an otherworldly tale set on the faraway planet of Ernoth, filled with wandering gypsies, deadly assassins, and a storyline that will keep you turning the page. And there’s more for sci-fi fans! Fomorian Earth and Shades of Moloch will both be free on Monday only. Be sure to check them out, and if you like a book, please leave a review on Amazon. It’s the best gift you can give an author.
Thought For The Day – Being male is a matter of birth, being a man is a matter of age, being a gentleman is a matter of choice.